Some experts have suggested that instead of using per capita emissions as a parameter, emissions per GDP (or GDP per emission) could be considered. This could be the right strategy which should be accepted by the developing as well as developed countries. Whatever nations or people say the fact remains that climate change is a real threat and something needs to be done about it sooner. The ill effects of climate change are going to be felt across the world and they are not limited to one region or country.
…got me curious about the carbon intensity (i.e., CO2 required to produce a given unit of GDP) for various parts of the world. Fortunately for me, the Energy Information Administration has been tracking both CO2 emission & carbon intensities for over a quarter-century.
Figure 1 shows total CO2 emissions for selected countries & regions that, together, account for virtually all the world’s CO2. Figure 2 shows the carbon intensities for those countries & regions, while Figure 3 shows each country/region’s “market share” of CO2 emissions.
Figure 1: Total CO2 Emissions
Notes: CO2 emissions data taken from EIA’s Table H.1co2; carbon intensities taken from Table H.1pco2. Figs. 1 & 2 exclude various small jurisdictions (e.g., Greenland, Falklands, Faroes, Virgin Islands) for which carbon intensities were unavailable. “Other North America” consists of Canada & Mexico. “Other Asia” comprises the nations of “Asia & Oceania” in the aforementioned tables, excluding China, India, Japan, & the aforementioned small jurisdictions. To calculate the carbon intensities for “Other North America” & “Other Asia”, I used data from the aforementioned EIA tables to calculate the GDPs for the nations in each of these categories; the carbon intensity for each region is the total carbon emissions thereof divided by the total GDP thereof.